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Matthew McConaughey baby seal: McConaughey saves baby seal surfing in Malibu

Matthew McConaughey and a baby seal are making headlines. It is not every day that an actor like McConaughey stops his surfing on a Malibu beach and takes time for a baby seal. The 44-year-old Oscar-winning actor, known for his role as Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club,” was recently catching some nice ocean waves in Malibu with his surfboard when he noticed a group of kids close to a baby seal, reported The Hollywood Gossip on April 25.

Actor Matthew McConaughey and model Camilla Alves attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
Photo by Michael Buckner

The actor could have continued surfing and choose not to take the time to pay attention to a group of teenagers who were standing close to the baby seal on the beach and poking it with sticks. Instead, McConaughey paddled ashore, got off his surfboard (in California it is not high horses but surfboards), and approached the group of teenagers.

Reportedly, for the next 20 minutes, the Oscar-winning actor explained to the teens that the baby seal was not dead, but that it was merely resting while mom was out in the ocean looking for food. The teens, who were less interested in a resting seal than in a dead seal, endured the lecture but were glad when they were able to get away. “After a 20-minute lecture on sea life, the kids were so anxious to get away, that they didn't even bother to ask the star to pose for a photo," wrote the Hollywood Gossip.

If those teens poking at the baby seal at Malibu beach would have known more about McConaughey, they might have been less surprised about the actor’s lecture. On June 9, 2012, McConaughey married the Brazilian model and television performer Camila Alves in a private Catholic ceremony in Austin, Texas, and they have three young children together. The actor does not only talk about values, he lives them.

In 2006, McConaughey “proved he was a real-life hero when he saved a cat from being set on fire by thugs in Sherman Oaks, Calif.,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle. The 2006 incident also involved some kids who had poured hairspray on a cat and tried to light it on fire. The actor, who witnessed the cruel act, jumped out of his car, snatched the cat, and after yelling at the kids, transported the soaked feline to a pet refuge place.

Besides animals, McConaughey cares for kids – not just his own. While filming the coming of age comedy “Dazed and Confused” (the movie that turned out to be his breakout role in 1993), the actor lost his father. As the story is told on the jklivinfoundation (just keep living) website, “it was during this time that he was overtaken by a saying that would soon change his life: ‘just keep livin’ or ‘j.k. livin’ as it’s called.”

“As life continued forward, he found that the just keep livin approach helped him navigate through the good times and bad times, stay true to his ideals, and make the best out of this adventure we call life. When Matthew established his foundation, naming it ‘just keep livin’ was a natural fit. It captured so many aspects of health and well-being and applies to all facets of life. He included his father, ‘Pop’, on the logo in remembrance of the saying’s origin.”

According to the j.k. livin foundation Facebook page, the non-profit organization was started by Matthew and Camila McConaughey and “is dedicated to empowering high school students to lead active lives and make healthy choices to become great men and women.” For McConaughey, becoming a great man includes understanding the difference between a dead baby seal and a resting baby seal -- and being a great man means taking the time out of surfing to teach kids the difference.

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